Skip to content Skip to cookie consent
Skip to content

Case studies

A close alliance

Community members in Malawi are forming an important alliance with honey bees

2021 Available in English

Sainani Bikitala is proud of both his trees, and his bees.

Sainani Bikitala is proud of both his trees, and his bees. Photo: Marcus Perkins/Tearfund

Women in the Democratic Republic of Congo clean caterpillars harvested from the trees surrounding their village.

From: Insects – Footsteps 115

Why insects are important and how we can look after and benefit from them

Community members in Salima district, Malawi, are forming an important alliance with honey bees. In response to widespread deforestation and land degradation they are dedicating areas of land to natural regeneration, allowing shrubs and trees to grow once more. However, despite by-laws and penalties, some people are not yet respecting these protected areas.

Bees, when disturbed, can give a nasty sting, so the communities are hanging bee hives made from earth pots, logs, baskets, tins and plastic buckets from the trees. The buzz of these busy creatures is helping to keep intruders out.

The communities have noticed that the honey harvests are much higher in the reforested areas, compared to areas without trees. This is because the bees have easy access to sufficient water, nectar and pollen. Their pollination activities are also helping the forest and surrounding crops to flourish which, in turn, is encouraging more people to keep bees and look after the trees.

Assemblies of God Care, Malawi

Share this resource

If you found this resource useful, please share it with others so they can benefit too.

Subscribe to Footsteps magazine

A free digital and print magazine for community development workers. Covering a diverse range of topics, it is published three times a year.

Sign up now - Subscribe to Footsteps magazine

Cookie preferences

Your privacy and peace of mind are important to us. We are committed to keeping your data safe. We only collect data from people for specific purposes and once that purpose has finished, we won’t hold on to the data.

For further information, including a full list of individual cookies, please see our privacy policy.

  • These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

  • These cookies allow us to measure and improve the performance of our site. All information these cookies collect is anonymous.

  • These allow for a more personalised experience. For example, they can remember the region you are in, as well as your accessibility settings.

  • These cookies help us to make our adverts personalised to you and allow us to measure the effectiveness of our campaigns.